Metaverse and Small Business
We are all discussing metaverse presently. While that’s commendable because we are being creative, we won’t know the extent of its capabilities until at least the next decade. Now is the best time for small business owners to start learning, prepare for how it will affect their business and the Metaverse benefit for small business owners.
Metaverse came into prominence when the foremost social media company Facebook announced that it is changing its name to Meta, heralding a new era of virtual reality in its history.
Since the announcement, the gist has been on around the world as entrepreneurs, innovators, consumers, and even non-specialists struggle to understand what this means and its attendant effect on how business is conducted across the globe.
Even though Facebook urged caution by explaining we won’t know the true capability of the invention until the next 10-15 years, the buzz it generated has led to an investment increase in VR totaling GBP 154m in the sector.
Obviously, the enormous potential of the metaverse is visible to all as it keeps developing. However, what really is the metaverse? And how can owners of small businesses brace themselves up for it and utilize the opportunities it provides?
What is Metaverse?
If you are a movie freak just like me, I am sure you would have seen science-themed blockbuster movies like avatar, Godzilla, and others produced in the 2000s. If you have, it will give you a clue on what metaverse really is.
Put mildly, it represents the real world but in internet enabled world. It leads to an endless virtual society where people interact, conduct businesses, have fun, and explore everything. To experience this, you only need your VR headset.
Though tech giant Facebook introduced metaverse to the world on a large scale, the metaverse idea has been on for a long time, but most of us don’t know it. Facebook is not alone now. Other big tech giants such as Amazon, Google, Apple and brands such as Adidas are keying into the possibilities of the virtual world – positioning their products as the go-to for people who may want to explore the metaverse in the nearest future.
Even though different products are being built every day in anticipation of the possibilities of the metaverse, nobody has been able to make definite projections as to what it is truly capable of doing when in full swing. Metaverse currently transcends just a product or service; it is an intricate web of an online realm that has the potential to grow bigger as people get to grip with it. This means any business of any stature can enter the metaverse realm and start making inroads. The market is still early, and most small businesses and big corporations will gain a lot.
What does the metaverse mean for your small businesses?
Since the breakout of the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the way people do things. Businesses are not left out. Most offline corporations have been forced to close shop or see a reduction in their sales volume because of enforced lockdown globally. This has led to an increase in the migration of businesses online through digital tools.
As we embrace the reality of the pandemic as one that we will live with for a while or forever, one of the most innovative business decisions a business owner can take is to make an inroad into the metaverse world.
Let’s use a fashion business as an example. You are an exceptional fashion designer who is well known. Most people want to know whether your styles will be fitting for them. Instead of coming to check it physically, they can do it online and, importantly, test it in your metaverse world.
In 2021, Balenciaga took on Fortnite, and gamers could buy digital clothes inspired by real-time Balenciaga designs. This means a whole new business possibility for the fashion giant.
In the next decade, we are looking at a situation in which you, as a fashion designer, can make clothes, send them to the owner, and let them rock them in your virtual world. Sounds odd? We are leaving the everyday world behind.
How can I prepare my small business for the metaverse tsunami?
Most small business owners think they don’t need the metaverse buzz and its attendant consequences on their business because it will be too advanced and complicated for them. However, as people join the metaverse platform, so will it become an everyday tool.
The enormous financial potential in the metaverse should also be one of the primary reasons small business owners should consider exploring the metaverse. According to Goldman Sachs, it estimates the metaverse will have a market cap of £5.9 trillion in the future. Because of this, creative and wise business owners have started making inroads into this high-end market to tap from its juice.
For small business owners, one of the best ways to join the metaverse realm is to examine your digital strategy and identify where it needs to be tweaked and updated to enter the metaverse seamlessly.
How to take your business to the Metaverse
Do some customer research.
It is not only about moving to the metaverse. You need to plan it very well. You should try to find answers to peculiar questions about your brand. What are the trends your clients are vibing with that are related to the metaverse?
Also, be on the lookout and see if your competitors are doing something like that. Carrying out an in-depth market survey is a great way to get answers and understand how customers will react to the metaverse technology.
Change your business model.
In anticipation of the move into the metaverse, business owners should adjust their business model to incorporate virtual reality operations. If you use tech products majorly in your business, embracing metaverse operation is key to keeping you as a going concern in the next ten years where disruptions would have taken place.
Whatever the plan you put in place, you should consider developing a long-term marketing strategy that will help you better position your business for the metaverse.
For example, in your content game, use related metaverse keywords, headlines, bios, or descriptions to write so you can rank for them in the long run.
Another way of preparing your business for the metaverse is to leverage advertising virtually to generate a new income stream. A typical example of this is Bidstack, which has adapted running ads in the virtual world to reach new markets.
Some business owners may think all these steps are too complicated for their business for now, but they are not. The best time to enter metaverse was last year. The next best time is presently, and I hope you take the opportunity to position your business well and grow with it.
Optimize your online presence
Going into the metaverse will mean separate things for people. For one business owner, it may be utilizing virtual reality to improve their customers' experience. It may mean leveraging AI tools to build more innovative products for their clients to someone else.
One major thing about metaverse is that it is shaping the future of internet connectivity and human experience. To be among those who will shape these experiences, you need to have a website at least.
Gone are the days when you needed to be a code master before you could build a website; there are now several no-code tools that you can use to create amazing websites, sell virtually and host meetings. Some of these tools include WordPress, Wix, Shopify, and others too numerous to mention. Most of these platforms are versatile, and you can easily integrate metaverse add-ons like VR chatbots, Avatars, etc into your website.
Carry your customers along in everything you do
Even though preparing for the metaverse as a small business owner is crucial, you should also be careful of alienating your present customers. Avoid making wholesome changes to your business quickly.
Metaverse is still relatively young, and only a few people understand how it works. For now, take baby steps without really affecting how your business works. Don’t drop running ads in conventional ways to avoid leaving your clients and money in the dark if you decide to start advertising on your metaverse space tomorrow.
At this point, nobody can boldly say this is where the metaverse is going. However, with how the leading tech giants in the world are making inroads and massive investments, it is worth giving a try.
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered us into new ways of doing business, and with the development of the metaverse, we will see more companies moving into virtual reality.
As a small business owner, the best thing to do for yourself is to start preparing on how to take advantage of the new phenomenon. There are different ways to do this, but one stands out; having a responsive website that will stand you out.
Don’t wait until the world starts struggling to fit into the metaverse. Take the initiative now and position your business so that you will be one of the gainers of the metaverse in the new world order.